One little known fact about having horses, to non-horse people at least, is how much horse people enjoy doing nothing with their horses. By “nothing,” I mean that the horse people are not riding, or feeding, or grooming, or cleaning tack, or shoveling out stalls, or doctoring, etc. They are simply hanging out with their horses, doing nothing. This doing of nothing most often occurs on sunny winter days, the ones that appear between the long stretches of cold and damp gray days. That’s when you can most likely find horse people doing nothing. To do nothing, a horse person may just sit quietly for fifteen or more minutes on a corral fence while their horses graze nearby. They may even be up on their horse, barebacked or saddled, but if there is tack, the reins are slack, the boots are out of the stirrups, while the horse, also lulled by the delightful warmth of the winter sun and their rider’s relaxed posture, dozes, equally relaxed, one back leg cocked, head hanging low, eyes closed, lower lip drooping.
Now, if there are two or more horse people doing nothing together, which is a very frequent event, they will chat with each other, of course–tell horse stories, dog stories, laugh, complain about the weather, admire the weather, etc. Some might interpret the chatting as doing “something”–but it’s done in such a relaxed manner, the words lilting, the sound soothing, that it in no way interferes with the sense of doing nothing. That doing nothing is a gift to be savored seems to be something that many horse people and all horses just know and appreciate. I count myself among them.